Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: glyco-, gluco-

Celluar respiration
The three processes of ATP production or celluar respiration include glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. Credit: Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG/Getty Images

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: glyco-, gluco-


The prefix (glyco-) means a sugar or refers to a substance that contains a sugar. It is derived from the Greek glukus for sweet. (Gluco-) is a variant of (glyco-) and refers to the sugar glucose.


Gluconeogenesis (gluco-neo-genesis) - the process of producing the sugar glucose from sources other than carbohydrates, such as amino acids and glycerol.

Glucose (glucose) - a carbohydrate sugar that is the major source of energy for the body. It is produced by photosynthesis and found in plant and animal tissues.

Glycocalyx (glyco-calyx) - outer covering in some prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells that is composed of glycoproteins.

Glycogen (glyco-gen) - a carbohydrate composed of the sugar glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles of the body and converted to glucose when blood glucose levels are low.

Glycogenesis (glyco-genesis) - the process by which glycogen is converted to glucose in the body.

Glycol (glycol) - a sweet, colorless liquid that is used as antifreeze or a solvent. This organic compound is an alcohol that is poisonous if ingested.

Glycolipid (glyco-lipid) - a class of lipids with one or more carbohydrate sugar groups. Glycolipids are components of the cell membrane.

Glycolysis (glyco-lysis) - a metabolic pathway that involves the splitting of sugars (glucose) into pyruvic acid.

Glycometabolism (glyco-metabolism) - the metabolism of sugar in the body.

Glycopenia (glyco-penia) - a deficiency of sugar in an organ or tissue.

Glycopexis (glyco-pexis) - the process of storing sugar or glycogen in body tissues.

Glycoprotein (glyco-protein) - a complex protein that has carbohydrate chains attached to it.

Glycorrhea (glyco-rrhea) - a discharge of sugar from the body, typically excreted in urine.

Glycosamine (glycos-amine) - an amino sugar that is used in the building of connective tissue, exoskeletons, and cell walls.

Glycosome (glyco-some) - an organelle found in liver cells and in some protazoa that contains enzymes that are involved in glycolysis.

Glycosuria (glycos-uria) - abnormal presence of sugar, particularly glucose, in the urine. This is often an indicator of diabetes.